Tertullian sat with pen in hand amused as usual with the paradox before him. After all, Rome – the Empire – was the great persecutor of the Christian faith. Yet, the Scriptures, he believed, taught a strange lesson. The Roman Empire was to be the very means God would use to PRESERVE the Church and civilization. Tertullian, the early Church father (200 A.D. ), was the man brilliant enough to “invent” the word “Trinity”, the particular word answering the need to capture the apparent paradox of the “Three Persons – One God” concept found in Scripture.
The fiery church leader, Tertullian, was a man who relished challenges to Truth and Justice. It would be he who would incessantly poke his satirical quill in the proverbial bubble of Roman pride. “You Romans take such pride in your heroes. You celebrate them for their deeds of “valor” in your parades, statues, mythical tales retold over and over as histories of “greatness” adorned among you. Yet, in simple contrast, the Christians, whom you persecute daily in the arenas and courts, show an unflagging courage as they fight lions, endure unimaginable torments while maintaining their faith, forgiving their oppressors. See the Revelation Set "Library" with its extraordinary Historical Fulfillments!
Even he was amused by the irony that God would use the Mighty Roman Empire to save the Church it had attempted to crush to this point in history. Tertullian would write:
There is also another and a greater necessity for our offering prayer in behalf of the emperors, nay, for the complete stability of the empire, and for Roman interests in general. For we know a mighty shock impending over the whole earth – in fact, the very end of all things threatening dreadful woes – is only retarded by the continued existence of the Roman empire…”
We pray too for the emperors, for their ministers and for all in authority, for the welfare of the world, for the prevalence of peace, for the delay of the final consummation.
Tertullian speaks of it as a common practice for Christians, throughout the empire, to pray for the emperors and the peace and protection of the Roman Empire. Christians in this age of the Church believed in a coming cataclysm for the world which only the Roman Empire could delay.
But HOW could Christians arrive at such a shockingly delightful belief
, a belief that would turn to fact in the hands of such adroit Roman Generals as Stilicho and Aetius? One of the themes of this book is a simple, yet profound one: Christians have in their possession an ADVANCED WARNING FROM THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL BOOK IN THE WORLD… THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION OF JOHN THE APOSTLE! And they have access to those warnings in each generation of the Church of Christ.
The Christian Church and the Roman Empire were locked in mortal combat for the heart of civilization, yet Christians, from Revelation, also had advance knowledge that God had ordained Rome would be the only PROTECTION for the preservation of Church of Christ and civilization at some time in the future.
Why another commentary on Revelation? The Answer is…
Revelation has been commented upon, perhaps more than just about any other New Testament book. I say “perhaps” because obviously who can know for sure. But an online search will show you the phenomenal interest in every aspect of the book of Revelation. Most books handle the book as a series of literal descriptions which are about to take place in the near future.
But, what if you were told that the book has always been “there” for the Church, just when She needs Divine Guidance in the midst of confusion, the abundance of metaphorical images designed to teach us “the DEPTHS, both of Satan and of God” in the contest for Righteousness worldwide.
This study will INTRODUCE us to Revelation’s panoramic view of the era beginning with Christ’s Ascension (Daniel 7: 13-14; Acts 1: 4-9) and extending down to the current era.
God’s Judgments, sent upon the earth in defense of His People, uproot the unrighteousness of one empire builder-oppressor after another.